Sharing Some Love :-)

http://mywifesfightwithbreastcancer.com

I came across this website/blog the other day.  Whether you have had an experience with cancer or not, these photographs and memories still affect a certain part of the brain and stir emotions you may or may not be aware of.  This family took a journey together, and I value their openness to share it.  I only wish that I was able to do for my mom the same things this man did for his wife.  Maybe I did in some capacity and don’t realize it.  I know that our family and friends were there for my mom.  Hopefully I was too.

Check out the blog and give this man your support.  Maybe you will see a new side, a living side, to something you’ve experienced or have only heard about.

11.20.12 – What do Couch Surfers, Bikes, and Mead Have in Common?

I can’t possibly explain how grateful and how happy I am to be a couch surfer.  I have been a proud member since January 27th, 2009.  Almost three years now!  The Couch Surfing community has significantly changed my life.  Not only do I have instant friends in any city I travel to, but I have learned to connect to the cities I find myself living in.  I was lost, but with Couch Surfing I am found.  I belong here.  It’s days like today that remind me I have a place in this world, that remind me how truly good people are, that remind me of the beauty that grows from the relationships we have with each other.

Enough of the sap.  Let’s get down to the good stuff.

I woke up slightly bitter that I wasn’t able to see my family for Thanksgiving, but I decided to make the most of my time off in Columbus, OH.  I found a bike shop called Handy Bikes on the North side of campus.  The owner agreed to loan me a bike until Friday morning for $40.  I hung up the phone amazed that I was able to find a bike so quickly and that I was actually going to have a bike for three days.  A bike!  It is one thing I was not able to fit into my backpack for this six month tour I am on.

I hopped on the bus, picked up my bike, and rode to the main Ohio State campus.  I wandered into some buildings looking for a huge lecture I could join, but I think it was too late in the day for those.  Plus, I had no idea in what building I could find such a thing.  Eventually I wandered into an Annie Leibovitz photography exhibition.  She has taken many recognizable and famous portraits. All of her work is stunning especially her photograph of William S. Burroughs.

William S Bourroughs

When I was finished starting at walls I met Bill, another couch surfer, at Northern Market for some delicious Indian food.  With full bellies we headed to the climbing gym to stare at some more walls.  I have never met Bill before, but after a test run on belay we decided we could trust each other.  If I fell I knew he would catch me.  What a wonderful feeling.  A stranger, now a friend.  That happens all the time in the Couch Surfing world!  After the climb, we met Gwen, yet another surfer, at Northstar Cafe.  I am in love with Gwen.  She is hilarious, energetic, and big hearted.  She wants to meet every single couch surfer that exists.  Is that too much to ask for?!  Next up, bar hop!

At the first bar I ordered a dark and stormy, my favorite drink as of lately.  It just looks so pretty in a highball glass.  Gwen turned in for the night and Bill and I wandered over to Brothers Drake the local meadery.  The bar was full of wonderful people, cute dudes with dreadlocks, and of course, mead.  As I sipped on my apple pie I became delighted that I still had a six mile bike ride ahead of me.  I also some how managed to receive two Thanksgiving invitations from people I don’t know in a city I have never been to.  I thought about how lucky I am to feel home anywhere I go.  My family spreads beyond conventional definitions.  It grows every time I meet some one new, every time a couch surfer walks into my life, any time I connect with another person.  I am thankful not only during the season but everyday of my life.

10.31.12 – Flat Tires and A Sanatorium

Happy Halloween!  Oops, it looks like you have a flat tire and the mechanic needs to run to the next town over which is 45 minutes away to get a replacement tire.  The team and I ended up in Dansville, New York for almost three hours waiting for a tire on our trailer to be replaced.  Since I have a hard time sitting still I decided to go for a walk.  The air was brisk with a little bit of rain, my favorite weather, and it felt good to be outside.  I walked to a park, sat down on a bench, and noticed what I thought was a castle sticking out of the trees on top of a hill.  I took off my sunnies, I didn’t really need them in the first place, and saw that  none of the windows on the mystery building had glass in them!  This is a really good sign for those of us who get excited by abandoned buildings.  I began my journey to the top of the hill to discover Jackson Sanatorium, a castle to some, accompanied by a black cat that crossed my path.  The air around abandoned places really creeps me out, which is part of the draw, but I just can’t bring myself to go inside when I’m alone.  I’ve tried and failed.  All attempts end after I stand in an empty room for five minutes psyching myself out by believing I will encounter a ghost if I go any further.  I’m getting the shivers just thinking about it.  This fear is just something I can’t turn off.  If I’m with another person it’s not there, but when alone, eek!  I took a couple of photos of the outside of this asylum and considered it my Halloween treat :-)